Prior to VainGlory 8 Patch 2.9, everyone was talking about the power of both SK Gaming and Cloud9. Both teams were already being scripted to be a part of the upcoming Worlds and no one was disputing it. At least, not until the past couple of weeks when both teams began to struggle with the change in meta that was brought about by the newest patch as well as the newest hero to hit the Fold. Churnwalker, Saw, even Ozo, have been recurring characters that have allowed for this second split of Autumn to be incredibly up in the air.
VainGlory 8 Patch 2.9 – SK Fall; G2 Soar
Looking over towards Europe, SK Gaming have been the most dominant team for quite some time. It was really difficult to argue when you would look at every week being a final of SK against anyone else. Celeste was an essential key to several of their wins alongside Lance, but as time changes, so does the meta. With Broken Myth being split into essentially two items, Celeste isn’t picked as much and more Weapon Power menaces have come out of the woodworks. Alongside this, Arden has become the premiere Captain. Celeste and Lance have fallen greatly to the wayside, along with the success of SK.
In EU, the meta seems to be revolving a lot more around early game pressure and leads. This is a stark difference from what many were used to with the region as for a long time it was deemed the zone of late game. Instead, you get to witness Fnatic go for early Crystal Sentry eliminations, G2 outrotating, and Dynasty trying to get picks on junglers early. These come be many of the reasons that SK is struggling since their typical style of play is no longer the flavor of their region. Either they need to find a new strategy or need to be able to not fall behind early to get to their power spikes.
What’s Wrong with C9?
It wouldn’t be a proper patch if both the top teams seemed to have lost a lot of momentum. C9 went from untouchable and able to play anything their heart desired to the team that can’t seem to play properly with anything. Noted, they did manage to beat Nova Esports 2-1 in the quarterfinals, they then fell to Hollywood Hammers 1-2 and to Tribe 0-2. This week would have been one of the most impactful for their chances at Worlds had TSM not had to find a sub for VONC, due to illness. This left Rogue in first place by a single point with C9 and TSM tied for second.
Honestly, the true issue for C9 seems to derive from the shift in meta, but the exact opposite one that we see in EU. Games in NA are dragging out longer and longer with many of the games not experiencing a first blood until nearly 7 minutes into the game. With Reim being one of the most influential picks, it is no wonder that teams want to slow down a bit for him to farm up some levels. However, by the end of this week, Alpha had begun to make her place known with one of the most impressive win rates of any hero this split. If C9 want to start to win again with their early game leads, Alpha might be the right choice, especially into others with less mobility like Saw.